“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
--- Douglas Adams

Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Birthday Came Early




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OK, my birthday didn't really come early, but I did have my yearly mammogram early this year. I usually have it closer to my birthday. It felt a little weird having it a little earlier than usual, like my schedule wasn't quite right. It's sort of like when the time changes and you change the box of baking soda in the refrigerator and change the batteries in the smoke detector. I have mammograms close to my birthday. Seems fitting. My birthday is in October. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Makes sense, to me at least.
Kaiser was totally on the ball, though. They called me in June telling me it was time. I blew them off because I knew I was going to have one in October. They kept calling and bugging me. I gave in and had my appointment. I wasn't trying to not have one, I just didn't want one until my self-appointed time.

20130830_150940.jpgGuidelines say if you're over 40 you should have a mammogram every 2 years. Kaiser will cover mammograms every year. I have one every year, but if you recall, I didn't have one last year as I was breastfeeding at the time. While the American Cancer Society says I could have had one, they also say that they may be not as accurate as breast tissue is more dense. Also, I had spent the 4 months prior to that being poked and prodded before the baby was born that I was a little sick of all the doctoring I had to endure.

Anyhow, I got it done and just like in the past, the procedure took about 10 minutes. It doesn't hurt, but it is a little uncomfortable.
While I was in the waiting area I took some selfies.

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Afterwards I went to Sugarbowl Bakery and got some pork buns for The Girl and The Boy.

If you're over 40, get a mammogram every year. Whatever your age is, do self checks.

Until next year . . . . .


Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Pitfalls of Marriage

I've worked at a lot of restaurants.

When I was 17 I worked at a restaurant called "Skinny Haven." The restaurant no longer exists. It was basically a Weight Watchers restaurant. All of the menu items had exchange counts listed (this is when Weight Watchers used exchanges instead of points). On many mornings before the restaurant opened there were Weight Watchers meetings. After the meeting everyone would step on the scale then take a seat in one of the booths and order breakfast. Since the restaurant doesn't exist anymore, there isn't a website to link to, but I found this restaurant review. In it the reviewer calls the place a "health-conscious restaurant." Everything came to the restaurant (mostly) pre-cooked and pre-packaged. The cooks would unpackage all the meals and assemble according to the pictures they had pasted to the walls inside the kitchen and pop it in the microwave for a pre-specified amount of time. It was all flavored with artificial seasonings, sweetened with artificial sweeteners and filled with artificial flavors. Sure, everything was low calorie, but that was the only thing it had going for it. Low Calorie foods was the goal, not food rich in protein and nutrients our bodies need. The ice cream they had, I have to say, was kinda good, but it was in no way good for you. It was dehydrated non-fat milk, fake sweetener, flavor and water that was frozen and whipped together to a sort of soft-serve consistency. Nothing, save for the actual vegetables on the salad bar was good for you. After Skinny Haven I got a job at a restaurant near the Queen Mary called The Reef. I didn't work there very long. I showed up for work one day and the place had burned down. When it was rebuilt I wasn't rehired. Turns out The Reef had seen more than a few fires in its day, only to be rebuilt and re-opened with new management and a new staff. I also worked at El Torito and a hamburger joint called Hof's Hut. Hof's had pretty tasty hamburgers. One time while working there I licked a piece of lettuce on a salad and gave it to a customer I didn't like. Then when I moved to San Francisco I got a job at a pizza place that has since closed. I've written about that place before. Worst job on my psyche ever.

All of the restaurants were different from each other. All had their own charm (or lack thereof). They all had one thing in common, though. At every restaurant, part of my sidework was to marry the ketchups. It was so gross. We had to balance a 1/2 full ketchup bottle on top of a 1/2 empty ketchup bottle and turn them into one full ketchup bottle. It didn't matter if they were different brands. It didn't matter if they were different ages. At the end of every shift, all of our ketchup bottles needed to be full so that the next day every customer could have a full ketchup bottle on their tables. Sometimes we'd use a little hot water from the coffee machine to loosen up the last bits of ketchup in the bottle. Sometimes instead of playing the bottle balancing game we would use a ketchup funnel. Sometimes the ketchup would be so old that it would ferment and explode a bit when opened. I hated marrying ketchup. And it wasn't just ketchup. We had to marry a whole host of condiments; mustard, mayonnaise, A-1 Sauce, hot sauce. And sometimes, when there was no more ketchup (or other condiment) to marry, we would open a #10 can (or giant tub) of the necessary condiment and pour brand new condiment in the old condiment container. We never washed any of them, save for the lids which we soaked in hot water to get all the dried crud off while we were marrying the condiments.

So this morning I went to the cafeteria in my office complex to get some eggs. You can get two scrambled eggs and bacon for $3. It's a pretty good deal. After I paid I went to the condiment counter to sprinkle some yummy Tapatio  hot sauce on my eggs. I had long suspected that this place marries their condiments and today I got my confirmation. In marrying the hot sauces, they neglected to put that little plastic insert back in the bottle, you know, that little piece of plastic that makes the hot sauce come out in measured drops. I ended up dumping 1/2 a bottle of Tapatio on my eggs.

Man, that sucked. I knew I should have gone for the Cholula.










Monday, August 26, 2013

How Was Your Weekend?

It's Monday. Did you have a nice weekend?

I hear or ask that question at least 20 times every Monday.

"Did you have a nice weekend?"
"Yeah, thanks. How was yours?"
"Pretty good. It was (relaxing, busy, hot, etc.)"

Do we really want to know how our co-workers' weekends were or are we just making conversation to fill the silence while we wait in line for our coffee?


I think most people don't want to hear about what I did over the weekend. I think just telling them "Fine thanks, how was yours," is sufficient.

Most of the time I'm looking for a similar answer to come out of them, unless of course they did something really exciting like skydiving or shark hunting.

So here's what I did . . .

Friday - The Girl was out with her friends doing whatever they do at the Mall. When I was her age I would try on dresses, play with makeup and look for boys. I assume she was doing something similar. Hubby, The Boy, Bean and I ordered Chinese food and watched TV.

Saturday - The Girl went to work. Hubby worked on his computer while The Boy, Bean and I walked to the strip mall by our house. We stopped outside of Petco to watch the groomers pick foxtails out of a dog's fur. We went into Payless to see if there were any sandals I'd like (there weren't) then The Boy said really loudly "Holy Crap those are awesome Spiderman shoes!!!" I told him not to say "Holy Crap" and then he got mad at me because I wouldn't buy him the awesome Spiderman shoes. Then we went to Radio Shack to buy a graphing calculator for The Girl. They were out. Then we went to Ross to see if there were any dresses I would like (there weren't). Then The Boy got really really mad at me for not buying him a Batman sweatshirt that was 2 sizes too small for him. Then we went to Big 5 to buy The Girl a sports bra for PE class. Then we went to Noah's to get The Boy a bagel dog but he wouldn't let me order it because it didn't look enough like a hot dog. Then we went to Lucky to pick up a few groceries. While we were there we ran into a mom of one of The Boy's classmates. While we were talking, The Boy saw an Optimus Prime greeting card that had a few sheets of stickers inside. He freaking lost his mind that I wouldn't buy it for him. Like EPIC lost his mind, all in front of his classmate's mom. I was so super embarrassed. We ended up buying deodorant and formula. We got home and I washed dishes while Bean played, Hubby worked and The Boy sulked, lamenting his lack of awesome Spiderman shoes, Batman sweatshirt and Optimus Prime greeting card.

Sunday - The Girl went to work. She also got a mosquito bite on her eye which made her eye all swollen. Hubby, The Boy, Bean and I went for a walk. After about an hour Hubby went home while the Kiddies and I went to the playground. When The Girl got home from work we drove to Best Buy to buy a graphing calculator. They had them, but they were expensive. Then we went to Office Depot. They were closed. Then we went to another Office Depot. They were also closed. Then we went back to Best Buy and bought the expensive graphing calculator. The Boy was mad that it was an awesome calculator and scolded me for buying The Girl an awesome calculator. Then we stopped at Trader Joe's to get groceries and dinner. When we got home I took out a chicken breast that we had just bought at TJ's and it super stank so I cooked some sausages for The Kiddies and split a steak with The Hubbs. Bean ate a whole buncha feta and tomatoes. Finally everyone went to bed, including me.

Definitely not skydiving or shark hunting.






Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Always Wear Sunscreen - A Book Review

Last week I read a status on my Facebook page. The writer of that status stated she hated a book called The Humans by Matt Haig. I decided to look up the book and see what it was all about. Sounded right up my alley; a book about someone trying to figure out an unfamiliar situation. There's math and science in it, but not so much I don't understand the concepts. There's romance, teen angst, and a bit of humor. I went online, placed a hold on it at the library and waited for it to show up at my local branch. I picked it up on Saturday and finished it last night.


The Humans is about this guy from a hyper-intelligent species from outer space.  This spaceman comes from a species who never die, know no pain, love, joy, heartache, etc. They have no relationships with each other. There is no sort of bonding with anyone. Logic rules their world and dictates how they live.

In the book the spaceman has to go to Earth and kill a mathematician who solved some math problem involving prime numbers. After killing him, he takes his form and sets to complete his mission by killing all those who might know about the mathematician's discovery.
While discovering who knows what, he gets to know the mathematician's wife, son, best frenemy and best friend. He kills the frenemy, but as he's trying to suss out what the wife, son and bestie know, he gets to know them and like them and their dog. He falls in love with the wife and builds a relationship with the son and starts walking the dog.  He doesn't want to kill them. The spaceman's bosses get angry. In the end he decides he wants to stay human and live painfully ever after.

Like I said, the book seemed right up my alley. I was a little bit wrong. The story itself is pretty entertaining. but it was lacking and I felt like it wasn't all that original. It was sort of like a cross between the writing of a lazy man's Douglas Adams and that poem / speech that was popular in the early '90's about not forgetting to wear sunscreen, with a little bit of Desiderata thrown in for good measure.

I betcha Hollywood will eat it up, and I'm such a sucker that I'll see the movie when it's made, but not so much of a sucker that I'll pay for it; I'll watch it when it winds up on Starz.






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Some of the pictures in my blog were taken by a photographer called Julie Michele. Some of the pictures were either taken by me or someone I know. Some of the pictures were ripped right from the internet, mostly from google image searches from photographers to whom I may or may not give credit.

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